The new Kamloops Urgent Primary Care Centre at Royal Inland Hospital welcomed its first patient through the doors at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Suneil Randhawa was greeted by the medical office assistants, saw a nurse, had an appointment with Dr. Peter Loland and was referred for diagnostic testing.
He later returned to the centre for immediate follow-up.
“He was the perfect patient for us to trial our processes on and he was enthusiastic about the team-based care he received,” said Jason Giesbrecht, Interior Health’s executive director of primary and community care transformation.
Giesbrecht said emergency room volumes were low throughout Tuesday, which gave urgent care centre staff an opportunity to work on the process with their ER peers.
Urgent care centre patients are initially being referred from ER if the care they require is not emergent, but requires treatment within 12 to 24 hours.
The Kamloops urgent care centre is the first of 10 to open across B.C. For now, it is open in the evenings, but will expand to daily hours of 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the fall.
Health Minister Adrian Dix was at RIH on Friday, June 8, to announce the pending opening of the clinic, following news in February of the centre’s creation.
The facility is on the ground floor of the Clinical Services Building at RIH and has a learning centre component operated in partnership with the University of British Columbia’s faculty of medicine program at RIH and Thompson Region Division of Family Practice.
The learning side of the facility will provide ongoing care to patients who come through the urgent-care side, but who have no family doctor to be referred back to for additional medical treatment.
UBC students will work in that part of clinic. As part of that partnership, UBC is increasing the number of students doing their studies at RIH from two annual cohorts of six students to two annual cohorts of eight students.